Painter Painter: Reframing a Medium
The resolute materiality of painting continues to attract artists, says Painter Painter co-curator Eric Crosby. “It’s a vivid contrast with our daily routine, where we experience so many images by using a cursor. Painting resists this kind of experience,” he adds. “A lot of artists today embrace that notion, going where the materials take them, not where the history of painting tells them to go.”
Handmade Spirits: Chris Sullivan’s Ethereal Animated Worlds
Fifteen years in the making, Chris Sullivan’s painstakingly hand-crafted film Consuming Spirits peers into twin ethereal realms, lurking familial ghosts and the inebriating spirits that haunt its characters’ lives. But while the themes are otherworldly, Sullivan stays grounded in the concrete as his film’s animator, screenwriter, director, editor, composer, and actor, as Kathie Smith discovers.
Art of Opposition
“Non participation,” say Karen Mirza and Brad Butler of the central idea in their upcoming Walker exhibition, is evident “when, for example, people encounter something they believe is valid or necessary—say, homelessness, the right to protest, the Iraq War—but in that simultaneous moment they ignore it or reject it.” In a new interview, the UK-based duo discusses their approach to art and resistance.
Ganesh, Nazis, and the Elephant in the Room
Staging a story of the deity Ganesh traveling to Nazi Germany to reclaim the Sanskrit symbol of the swastika was complex enough, even without this factor: It’s told not by a Jewish or Hindu cast but through “actors perceived to have intellectual disabilities.” Back to Back Theatre’s Bruce Gladwin discusses the work and the questions it raises about exploitation, power, and cultural appropriation.
A Poetic Archaeology of Cinema: The Films of Bill Morrison
In Bill Morrison’s films, time appears as both a historical process and as an autonomous, existential force to which all matter falls prey. Whether treating the march of time as fodder for a narrative of human events or as an irreversible process of flux and decay, he utilizes traces of found footage from our cinematic past, attempting to grapple with the ambiguous concept of “time” itself.
Reconstructing King Lear’s Tragic Condition
Ever since Shakespeare penned King Lear in the early 1600s, the tragedy’s text has been endlessly challenged—so much so, writes Guthrie Theater senior dramaturg Michael Lupu, that it’s nearly impossible to find a “pure” Lear. From a 1681 version with a happy ending to Peter Brook’s famed 1962 staging, Lear has seen countless reconstructions—including She She Pop’s Lear with a twist, Testament.
2012: The Year According to Julian Bleecker
For a futurist, our request might have been unwelcome: look back. Thankfully, artist and technologist Julian Bleecker agreed, offering his top 10 moments from 2012 in a list that ranges from acts of God (Hurricane Sandy) to the completely man-made (Instagram and “computational photography” cameras) to the pop cultural and artistic (Frank Ocean, Tom Sachs, and the death of the Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch).
A Year in Close-Up: Still Dots and the Blue Velvet Project
Matt Levine & Jeremy Meckler
November 29 was a momentous day: After one year and 102 blog posts, Still Dots was complete. Since December 13, 2011, we’d been pulling one frame for every 62 seconds of screen time in Carol Reed’s The Third Man and writing a biweekly analysis of it. With more than 125,000 words behind us, we reflect on what this micro-analysis taught us—and how it might suggest a new kind of film criticism.
From One History to a Plurality of Histories
In a traditional museum, art is presented in the context of singular art history, says the Van Abbemuseum’s Steven ten Thije. But “if you start to see works themselves as contexts, then each work starts to be not just a story of itself, but to offer a perspective on the world—a different background against which things can be ordered.” Here he discusses the museum’s evolving thinking on curation.